The Boston Celtics sealed the deal Tuesday night with a slightly complex, but still clutch victory over the Chicago Bulls to avoid elimination in the NBA In-Season Tournament.

That secured Boston’s upcoming date with the Pacers in the quarterfinal round on Monday night, giving the Celtics yet another favorable matchup. Indiana’s last battle with Boston — which is a severe overstatement — resulted in a near-record 155-104 Celtics blowout win, meaning the odds are leaning in favor of the current Eastern Conference top dog.

But, even with Group C play officially over for the Celtics moving forward, there’s still plenty to unpack from what we’ve seen so far.

Here are four thoughts:

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1.) From Boston’s perspective, the tournament has been an overall successful product for more reasons than we could’ve expected.
Hats off to NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

The dramatic implications of the Celtics being pushed to the point of trying to defeat the Bulls by at least 23 points while stalking the Nets-Raptors score couldn’t be replicated. In no other situation are the theatrics of facing Chicago in November with any sort of meaning actually happening.

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Yet, the Celtics committed and gave the TD Garden faithful a night worth tuning in for.

Boston’s race for the No. 23 made for an environment that wouldn’t ever exist without the tournament. It was unique, brand new and still shattered all the backlash surrounding the tournament’s introduction before the season.

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“We didn’t talk about (the 23-point goal), but I think everybody knew about it,” Celtics guard Derrick White told reporters postgame, per CLNS Media video. “So that’s just the nature of today’s day in age and everybody’s connected. … I think everybody wanted to go for it, and why not?”

2.) Could the playoff-like atmosphere provided by the tournament benefit the Celtics and their situation in the long run?
Winning the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament would be a great step in the right direction, signaling a turned page into Boston’s next chapter with its new-look roster.

Granted, the tournament does nothing but garner a boost in viewership in games that would’ve been worthless and incentivize players with an extra $500,000 — for the winning team. But even besides that, there’s still enough in place for the Celtics to treat the stakes with more meaning than a typical early-season matchup against punching bag competition.

Unlike many other teams in the tournament, the Celtics have a lot to prove this season. Boston’s ownership and front office backed the team, putting the roster through an entire overhaul by welcoming in new faces Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday along with a whole new staff behind head coach Joe Mazzulla.

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Not to say winning the tournament would put the nightmares of falling to the Heat in seven games last season to rest, but an encouraging step nonetheless would serve the Celtics — and their redemption cause — right.

3.) Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla took backing players to a whole new level — and it worked.
Back at the helm for a second year, Mazzulla’s made having the backs of his players a staple in his overall agenda.

When the Celtics and Raptors faced off in early November, and Boston held a 27-point lead with 3:39 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Mazzulla challenged a play call. Now, according to the unwritten rules of basketball, that isn’t the go-to move. Toronto’s bench approached Mazzulla, barking in displeasure, struggling to cope with the beatdown Boston was dishing out.

However, the bigger-picture point from Mazzulla’s perspective was both simple and justified: If the game isn’t over, why stop coaching?

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Evidently, that still didn’t sit well with Raptors guard Dennis Schröder who sensed “disrespect” from Mazzulla — not that any of that mattered.

When the Celtics had the chance to seize the magical No. 23 over Chicago, Mazzulla went for it. Granted, it did require busting out the good old-fashioned ‘Hack-A’ defensive tactic on Bulls center Andre Drummond to help do right by Boston’s lead.

That didn’t sit right with Bulls head coach Billy Donovan, but at the end of the day, Mazzulla’s main objective is tied to the Celtics and any hurt feelings on Chicago’s end aren’t Boston’s concern, right?

4.) The new-look courts were a great idea, but executed horribly.
It’s a pretty cool sight to see the Celtics ditch their traditional parquet for a floor that resembles the design of a 12-year-old playing “NBA 2K,” but no less awful.

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The tournament courts, aside from a few exceptions, were horrendous.

Going with a three-striped design was lazy and uninspiring. To refuse to plaster the Larry O’Brien trophy when the NBA Finals roll around (like in 2008), but put the In-Season Tournament trophy at the center, is a disgrace.

Next season, instead of going with a cookie-cutter design method, allowing each team to freely design their courts as they do with the ‘City Edition’ uniforms would be the ideal route.

Not a pressing issue, but still an eyesore.

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Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images